David R. Henderson  


CBO Stimulus Estimates... Two Critiques of Macroeconomet...

On Thursday, February 5 at 9:00 a.m. PST, I'll be on KQED-FM in San Francisco until 10:00 a.m. The show is called Forum. The topic: the "Buy American" provisions in the "stimulus" bill.

The other person being interviewed is Harley Shaiken. Shaiken, I believe, tends to be critical of free trade and favors having the government give unions monopoly power in the workplace.

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CATEGORIES: International Trade

COMMENTS (6 to date)
Jacob Oost writes:

If anybody has a hankering for going out of their minds with frustration, I suggest you go to FreeRepublic.com and argue against protectionism.

BTW, you can greet the other guy by saying "What's Shaiken?"

Shaiken is an economist? He just embarrassed whatever institution handed him a degree, badly. Very badly.

David R. Henderson writes:

Dear Patrick,
Interesting point. I always like to make pleasant talk with the other guest before the program starts. I asked him what he got his Ph.D. in and he said economics. I did a quick search and all that's mentioned on his Berkeley bio is an undergraduate degree from Wayne State. No graduate degree, not even a Masters, is mentioned. I don't want to be an elitist here--Gordon Tullock has only a law degree and I would put him, at his peak, in the top 1,000 economists--but it didn't seem as if I was discussing with another economist. Shaiken seemed like a nationalist and a mercantilist who bought most of the myths that Bastiat spent a large part of his short career refuting.

MikeP writes:

Nicely done. I was the Mike from Sunnyvale whose email mentioning that recessions of global reach are best recovered through global trade was read right after you had made a similar point.

Will every free market proponent, regardless of the topic, forever more have to spend significant time responding to claims of the laissez faire excesses of the Bush Administration and the changing of everyone's mind in August 2008?

David R. Henderson writes:

Thanks, MikeP. Glad you weighed in. Your comment was a breath of fresh air. As you could see, we were outnumbered by nationalists and mercantilists.

Jacob Oost writes:

MikeP, yes, in fact, we aren't doing it enough. The most important thing proponents of economic freedom can do right now is to loudly, boldy, and often(ly...) refute the bogus claims of:

A) Deregulation and the breakdown of government intervention in the market for the past thirty years. It is an exaggeration to say the least, based on the cherry-picking of facts. This forms part of the main "argument" the statists have when they push for more statism.

B) The bogus claim of a stagnating wages, income inequality, etc. These figures are debunked time and again, and yet statist economists continue to peddle them. They know the flaws with the statistics, but it serves their viewpoint.

C) The myths surrounding free trade, "fair trade," globalization, and out-sourcing, though I regard this as secondary to points A and B.

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